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May 22, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(4):383-385. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690220051020

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Increase in Malpractice Suits.  —Since the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948, there has been an increasing number of lawsuits for negligence against hospitals and physicians. Two recent cases have attracted attention. One concerned a 6-year-old girl who was awarded £5,000 ($14,000) at Nottingham Assizes on March 10 against a children's hospital matron and a hospital management committee, because a plaster spica was put on her leg too tightly and for too long a period. As a result the leg became useless. The judge was very critical of the hospital staff, who delayed giving information of the child's condition to her parents. He said: "When we had assisted voluntary hospitals, if I was brought in from the street a dying pauper, any treatment I received was an act of charity. Now we have gone over to the State system and it is a matter of right for which

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